Indoor track and field athletes headed to states
Lackey girls, McDonough boys, Westlake boys favored
For numerous athletes from the various Southern Maryland Athletic Conference schools who earned a berth in Monday and Tuesday’s events at the Prince George’s Sports & Learning Com- plex in Landover, the state indoor track and field championships will mark the culmination of one season and the spring- board to another.
From a team perspec- tive on Monday in the Class 1A and 2A state championships, female athletes from Lackey High School and boys runners from Westlake and McDonough will be among serious contenders for state crowns. The Lackey girls, Westlake boys and McDonough boys are viewed as prohibitive favorites to continue their indoor dom- inance this winter, as is one talented female runner from Patuxent.
In the recent 2A East Region championships at the P.G. Complex, the Lackey girls and Westlake boys recorded comfortable victories. Lackey senior Sydney Williams and junior teammate Dominique Jeffery form a genuine one-two punch for the Chargers, while the Westlake’s Will Moten, Tobias Hurley, Thomas Alcorn, Jay Hall and Justin McIntyre could claim individual titles and com- bine for relay scores as well.
Moten, Hurley, Alcorn and McIntyre have been nearly dominant in vari- ous sprints and have also combined for success on relays, while Hall arrives off victories in both the 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs and will be in conten- tion for both titles again on Monday.
“We push each other so much to keep improving,” Alcorn said. “Now we know if we keep getting better, the team titles will come. Now it’s all about being ready for states. This is our last chance to get another indoor title. We’re all excited about the outdoor season, but we have another chance to get an indoor title. Our relays have been really good all season. So we’ll see what we can do.”
Lackey’s girls have made quick work of their opposition throughout the SMAC slate and into the regional champion- ships. Jeffery completed a rare triple by taking the 55, 300 and 500, while Wil- liams bested teammate Nikiya Mitchell to take the 55 hurdles. Williams had also been second to Jeffery in the 300.
“The region meet really helped get me prepared for states,” Jeffery said after her triple at region- als. “I was looking to drop time in all three events. We have a lot of really good girls on this team. It’s fun being around such a really fast group of girls.”
Patuxent senior Hayley Jackson is expected to continue her dominance in the 800 and 1,600. At the 2A East Region championships, Jackson simply toyed with her foes in both events, taking the 1,600 with a breathtaking move on the bell lap in which she punctuated her handy score by lapping nearly one-half of her foes.
After being nearly lapped by Jackson in the 1,600 while finishing second, Calvert sophomore Sydney Friedel came back to win the 3,200 by more than 25 seconds. Lackey junior Courtney Hawkins won the girls shot put by nearly five feet and will be among the serious contenders for the state title.
While McDonough may
be the smallest school in SMAC, the Rams boys came up big at the 1A East Region championships.
Rams seniors Ricardo Oliva and Brant Butler and juniors Hezikiah Hawkins and Avaughn Holley combined to the win the 800 relay. Haw- kins also attained individual titles in the 300 and 55 with Oliva and Holley second, respectively, in those events. Butler won the 55 hurdles, Holley won the long jump and teammate Jonathan Thompson captured the shot put.
Northern girls seeking state title in 3A
On Tuesday afternoon at the P.G. Complex, the Pa- triots girls team will seek the 3A state crown, while other SMAC athletes will compete for individual honors in the 3A and 4A state championships.
In the 3A East Region championships at the Baltimore Armory, the Northern girls edged Mt. Hebron of Howard County by 1.5 points to take the region crown. The Patriots performed well in various relays, but the trio of Molly Barrick, Abby Sweeney and Claudia Dolan completed a clean sweep of the top three spots in the 3,200.
“It’s great being a part of a team with so many fast girls,” Sweeney said. “We always push each other to keep getting bet- ter in every practice and in every meet. We have girls that are good in the sprints and others that are good in the longer distances and we have some very good relays. We’re all excited about being able to compete for a state title next week.”
Great Mills senior Annie Imhof prepped for the state championships by rallying from last in the bell lap to capture the 800 in the 3A East Region meet. Imhof had finished second to Barrick in the 1,600 and was fourth in the 3,200, but her prima- ry target all winter has been the 800.
“It will be much better back at Sportsplex,” said Imhof, who is headed to the U.S. Naval Academy this summer. “At the regional meet, I wasn’t really concerned about my times. I was just focused on placing. It seems like the times are about one second slower [at the Ar- mory] for every 100 meters. I have really been focusing mainly on the 800. Then I will start preparing for the outdoor season.”
Great Mills Kiara Deloatch was the region runner-up in the 55 hur- dles, while the Leonard- town quartet of Liana Foianini, Emily Snyder, Kristina Kowalik and Karson Harris won the 3,200 relay at the 4A East Region meet. Raiders senior Ethan Aus won the region title in the shot put, while Huntingtown’s Christopher Alexy claimed the shot put title at the 3A East meet.
The Northern boys are led by senior Charlie Sweeney who captured the 1,600 and the 3,200 at the 3A East meet and will be among the seri- ous contenders in both events at states. Sweeney, whose younger sister Abby is a key component of the Patriots girls squad, will be joined in both events by teammate Greg Oldham, who was second in the 3,200 and third in the 1,600.
“It’s a lot tougher running over the floor at the Armory,” Sweeney said. “It’s just a harder floor and you really have to stay cautious on the turns. It will be nice to get back over to Sportsplex. That’s really been our home track now for a while, so we’re very familiar with running there and it’s not as difficult to get around.”
North Point senior Rachel Nueslein will also seek state titles in two distance events on Tuesday. The Eagles runner captured the 4A East title in the 3,200 and was second in the 1,600.
Lackey High School senior Sydney Williams will be among the favorites to capture the 55-meter hur- dles at the Class 2A state indoor track and field championships Monday at the Prince George’s Sports & Learning Complex in Landover.
PHOTO BY BRANDON MILES Westlake High School senior Thomas Alcorn will play a key role in the Wolverines’ potential to win the Class 2A state indoor track and field championships title Monday at the Prince George’s Sports & Learning Complex in Landover.